Florida politics

Lightblb on Flickr

"Hmm?" answered Sean Spicer to whether a Republican presidential nominee has to win in Florida in order to win the White House.

Spicer is the chief strategist and communications director for the Republican National Committee. The RNC is not picking a favorite among the growing list of Republicans vying for their party's presidential nomination. But the party, like its Democratic counterpart, knows Florida's growing importance to the 2016 presidential race.

Steve Martin / flickr Creative Commons

  On the Florida Roundup, the date for the special session has been set to organize a budget.

Florida Legislature

After no agreement during the legislative session, lawmakers will meet again on June 1 for budget discussions. They must decide before July 1.

Police behavior

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped shy of saying he would veto an expansion to Medicaid.

Speaking to reporters in Orlando this week, Scott said the federal government can’t be trusted to pay for Medicaid.

But when pressed, he stopped short of saying he would veto an expansion to the health insurance program for the poor.

Miami Herald

Senator Marco Rubio or former Governor Jeb Bush? That’s a question Republican primary voters in Florida are likely to be asking themselves next year. But many in the state’s congressional delegation are already wrestling with it.

“Jeb Bush. Bush. Bush. Bush,” says Daytona Beach Congressman John Mica. It’s early in the process: only Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially announced his run. Still, when it comes to Floridians, Mica says he’s firmly a Bush-man.

Murphy For Florida

There's only one declared candidate so far for the Marco Rubio U.S. Senate seat. And he's already earned a vote of "no confidence" from a wing of his own party. 

Patrick Murphy is a former Republican who switched parties in 2012 and defeated arch conservative Allen West for South Florida's northernmost congressional seat.

Michael Rivera (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] / Wikimedia Commons

The gavel falls Tuesday in Tallahassee, when Florida lawmakers officially begin the 2015 legislative session. The one item they have to do is pass a state budget -- and this year they have a $1 billion surplus, a growing state economy and a governor fresh off a re-election win.

Each spring for 60 days the Florida Legislature tackles a year's worth of state business. On the agenda this law-writing session are reforms to public-education testing, hundreds of millions of dollars of mandated spending on the environment and billions of dollars in federal money for health care.

ALEX CASTRO / AP FILE

Six weeks after President Barack Obama announced efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, former Cuba leader Fidel Castro writes a letter of reserved-approval for the plan.

Cuba President Raul Castro said this week that relations with the United States can only be rehabilitated if  the U.S. returns Guantanamo Bay to the island and the embargo is lifted.

Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Miami Herald File

A Coral Gables woman found seven strangers standing in her bedroom in the middle of the night. After she screams, they run. The police do not arrest them. 

Some question the government's response after a group of Hispanic teenagers snuck into the home of former Miami Heat player Ray Allen.

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